From education to employment

Strong results so far for Academy programme to enhance diversity of the UK engineering workforce

An award-winning Royal Academy of Engineering programme to boost the employment prospects of engineering graduates from diverse backgrounds has resulted in at least 250 engineering employment opportunities over the last five years, including internships, graduate placements and jobs, according to figures published today.

The Graduate Engineering Engagement Programme (GEEP) targets university engineering students and has reached over 800 students from 66 universities since it was launched in 2015. Of the students already involved in the programme 28% are female and over 90% are from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

Students interested in attending can apply here

The Academy has collaborated with more than a dozen leading engineering employers to provide students with training and networking opportunities that will help and encourage them to apply for engineering jobs.

The programme will launch for its sixth year in August 2020 with a series of virtual events, starting on 19 August. These will include workshops, interview and assessment centre training, and insight sessions led by engineers. Each event also includes a speed networking session for students to meet engineering recruiters. Companies currently confirmed to support the scheme this year include AMEY, Buro Happold, National Grid, Network Rail, Rolls-Royce, Siemens, Teledyne e2v and WSP.

Engineering companies interested in the programme can contact Rachel Earnshaw for more information.

GEEP has been developed in partnership with engineering employers and is delivered by SEO London, with support from the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers (AfBE-UK) and the Women’s Engineering Society (WES). GEEP targets engineering undergraduates who are female or from socially disadvantaged or BAME backgrounds with a focus on universities outside the Russell Group. Research[1] shows that there is a stark difference in outcomes for engineering graduates of white and BAME origin entering engineering occupations, with 60% of white engineering graduates employed in engineering occupations after six months, compared with only 40% for BAME graduates. Following a successful three-year pilot, GEEP launched as a full-scale programme in 2018 and it was named winner of the Race Equality Award 2019 at Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Awards.

Academy CEO Dr Hayaatun Sillem CBE says:

“The Graduate Engineering Engagement Programme is a vital part of our proactive work to bring diverse talent into engineering roles and we welcome the support of engineering employers in sharing best practice and promoting inclusion in the workplace. We continue to strive for greater diversity in the engineering profession and to advance engineering’s contribution to an inclusive economy that truly works for everyone.”

GEEP participant Damilola Fari-Arole, who is now a Systems and RAM Engineer at Network Rail, says:

“The support I received from attending the programme was incredibly beneficial in my applications and interview processes. The programme gave me an opportunity to expand my network within the industry and gain valuable insight into some of the top engineering firms — allowing me to make informed choices when applying for roles in the industry.

“Through GEEP, I eventually secured a graduate engineering job in Network Rail. I would highly recommend GEEP to engineering students and recent graduates who are looking to gain engineering opportunities, but also would encourage engineering firms alike, to get involved to access and attract top emerging talent into the industry.”

Read more about Damilola’s experience here

Notes for Editors

The Royal Academy of Engineering is harnessing the power of engineering to build a sustainable society and an inclusive economy that works for everyone.

In collaboration with our Fellows and partners, we’re growing talent and developing skills for the future, driving innovation and building global partnerships, and influencing policy and engaging the public.

Together we’re working to tackle the greatest challenges of our age.

What we do


We’re growing talent by training, supporting, mentoring and funding the most talented and creative researchers, innovators and leaders from across the engineering profession.

We’re developing skills for the future by identifying the challenges of an ever-changing world and developing the skills and approaches we need to build a resilient and diverse engineering profession.


We’re driving innovation by investing in some of the country’s most creative and exciting engineering ideas and businesses.

We’re building global partnerships that bring the world’s best engineers from industry, entrepreneurship and academia together to collaborate on creative innovations that address the greatest global challenges of our age.


We’re influencing policy through the National Engineering Policy Centre – providing independent expert support to policymakers on issues of importance.

We’re engaging the public by opening their eyes to the wonders of engineering and inspiring young people to become the next generation of engineers.

For more information please contact: Victoria Runcie at the Royal Academy of Engineering Tel. 0207 766 0620; email: [email protected]

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